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Character Foils Essay

1703 words - 7 pages

To Kill a Mockingbird-Character Foils Essay
Whether we read books, watch movies, or simply live life, we cannot ignore that writers, directors or people create pairs of characters that may have things in common and characteristics that show them as opposites. Sometimes, they may seem obvious but at other times, the individuals have to be analyzed and understood. They are placed in stories to show the good and the bad in the story. However, placing similar and somewhat opposite characters together is clearly portrayed in the novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. These characters go through some of the same situations but they can be distinguished differently by the way they choose to deal a situation. Sometimes, their intention may be alike however, in the end, their doing is what makes them two different people. This contrast is especially evident when comparing Walter Cunningham Sr. and Bob Ewell, Boo Radely and Nathan Radely, and, lastly, Miss. Maudie and Miss. Stephanie.
Despite all bad or good qualities anyone truly has, one should always try to fight for what’s right and not punish someone who truly doesn’t deserve it just to save themselves. This is evident between Walter Cunningham Sr. and Bob Ewell. Walter Cunningham Sr. is a poor farmer who has to pay those who he owes with supplies rather than money. He also happens to be in a mob, which is trying to kill Tom Robinson [the innocent black man] before his trial. Bob Ewell is part of Maycomb’s poorest family and is also a drunkard. Something both Mr. Cunningham and Mr. Ewell have in common is that they are both white men, who are not the wealthiest and are both trying to put Mr. Robinson in jail. Despite the similarities these characters may seem to have, there are a lot differences between both of them. Mr. Cunningham is a man who is honest, but sometimes is deceitful when he is under the influence of others. At first, he was desperate to put Mr. Robinson in jail because he was black, so he was considered lower than the whites. However, when he was about to harm Tom with his mob, he changed his mind because Scout’s [Jean Louise] politeness towards him made him realize he was doing the wrong thing. She said “ Don’t you remember me, Mr. Cunningham? …You brought us some hickory nuts one time, remember? …your son’s a good boy, a real nice boy…Tell him hey for me, won’t you? “ ( Lee 153 ] The Finch family can be considered of a higher class than the Cunningham’s so showing him respect was a big deal. Due to her good manners, he was able to change his ways and his perspective towards Tom Robinson. Therefore, his first intention was changed with a better objective. On the other hand, Bob Ewell was aware that Tom was innocent because it was Bob who harmed his own daughter. He blamed Tom due to his race and he didn’t want to go to jail, even if he deserved to. Compared to Mr. Cunningham, Mr. Ewell has the bad qualities that make him completely opposite to Mr. Cunningham; he is racist and ignores...

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